Tether’s decision to launch a new digital asset pegged to the Mexican peso will be a boon to crypto adoption in the Latin American country by providing more onramps to the USDT stablecoin, according to Paolo Ardoino.
In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum summit, the Tether and Bitfinex chief technology officer said the reason he came to Davos was to showcase the utility of cryptocurrencies.
“I didn’t participate in Davos to meet CEOs of big banks,” he said. “We are here to send our message [that] there is a big world out there that needs crypto in a safe way.”
Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino said that the increase in crypto demand in the Latin America region pushed their decision to expand. https://t.co/Ig7Y524VT2— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 26, 2022
Tether has identified a growing demand for crypto and stablecoin products in Mexico, especially among businesses. To meet that demand, the company announced Thursday that it will launch a new peso-backed stablecoin on the Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX) and Polygon (MATIC) networks. Ardoino confirmed to Cointelegraph that “MXNT” pairs will begin trading on Bitfinex next week.
Describing USDT as a bridge to Bitcoin (BTC), Ardoino said he believes the dollar-pegged stablecoin will be successful in onboarding the next 2 billion crypto users. However, to bridge more people to USDT, his company must work with local banks by offering “other flavors of Tether.”
Related: WEF 2022: SWIFT probably won’t exist in 5 years, says Mastercard CEO
When asked about the prospect of Mexico adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, which became a distinct possibility after a Mexican senator advanced the idea of creating crypto regulations based on El Salvador’s BTC Law, Ardoino said he’s “bullish on the case that many countries will need, sooner rather than later, [to accept] Bitcoin.”
A Mexican senator renews efforts to make #Bitcoin legal tender in Mexico, arguing that Bitcoin adoption can drive global financial inclusion. https://t.co/4Yzs3zUUNU— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) February 23, 2022
However, the path to Bitcoin becoming legal tender in Mexico will be more complicated than in El Salvador because the former already has an official currency. So, while Bitcoin may not achieve the status of legal tender in the near term, it could become a “de facto legal tender” that is used alongside the peso, he said.